Two StarCraft 2 tournaments on opposite sides of the globe crowned champions this weekend.
The KeSPA Cup pit the top two players from each of the world’s best competitions against each other in an $80,000 premier tournament in South Korea. Protoss player Joo “Zest” Sung Wook, integral part of the Proleague winning KT rolster team, took the title, besting fellow Protoss Kim “herO” Joon Ho in the final.
On the other side of the globe dozens of the world’s best descended on Russia for Dreamhack Moscow. Acer ace Mung “MMA” Seong Won beat fellow Terran Jung “jjakji’ Ji Hoon to take home $10,000, securing a major title for the fourth straight year.
Joo continued his impressive performance in individual leagues this year, adding the KeSPA Cup trophy to a case already containing a Global StarCraft League championship won in April. The way he won the tournament was a statistical oddity—he only played mirror matchups through the event, beating four fellow Protoss players on his way to the title.
Joo has a whopping 68.42 percent win rate against his own race, his best matchup, so it’s not a surprise he made it through the Protoss gauntlet. But the names he beat in doing so are still impressive. Joo first swept Yang “PigBaby” Hee Soo, current champion of the World Championship Series (WCS) America region. He followed it up with his closest win, a 3-2 nailbiter against last year’s WCG Global champion, Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin. Then Joo beat Kim “Classic” Doh Woo, a more recent winner of GSL, before facing herO in the final.
The Moscow bracket wasn’t littered with so many recent champions, but Mung, a former superstar in both Korea and the Western scene, needed to beat a GSL champion in jjakji to take the title. Mung also faced Team Liquid’s star Zerg Jens “Snute” Aasgaard, largely considered the top Western player at the moment, in the semifinal.
Joo earned $25,000 for his KeSPA Cup win, while Mung took home $10,000 by winning Moscow. Both players were awarded with a hefty WCS Point tally, used to qualify for Blizzard’s global finals. The top 16 players will play at Blizzcon in November.
The win boosted Joo to second in the standings with 5550 points, secure in his Blizzcon berth. Mung’s win pushed him to the all-important 16th spot, bumping him from 22nd into a qualifying postion. But while Mung can be happy with his performance this weekend, he can’t rest on his laurels. Dreamhack Stockholm, at the end of this month, could knock him out.